A Hudson County Judge has allowed a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (“RICO”) lawsuit filed by Carmelo Garcia, the former Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director, to proceed against Mayor Zimmer and her husband, Stan Grossbard.
RICO was originally created to combat organized crime and corruption but has been used in civil litigation to allege fraudulent activities. New Jersey’s RICO statute allows a person to file a lawsuit alleging that individuals or organization have participated in the affairs of a “criminal enterprise” through a pattern of racketeering. In denying Mayor Zimmer and her husband, request to dismiss Mr. Garcia’ complaint, Judge D’Alessando said that the allegations in the complaint are sufficient to make out a RICO claim.
The judge found that Mr. Garcia’s complaint contained detailed allegations that show Mayor Zimmer and her husband conspired with members of the Hoboken Housing Authority to terminate Mr. Garcia because of his whistleblowing activities. The judge agreed that the complaint sufficiently alleges facts to show that Mayor Zimmer and her husband were co-conspirator with Hoboken Housing Authority. Mr. Garcia alleged that Mayor Zimmer and her husband, Stan Grossbard had a direct role in the day-to-day activities of and exercised control over Garcia’s work.
In its decision, the judge also allowed his civil rights and discrimination claims to go forward against Mayor Zimmer and her husband, along with the City of Hoboken, the Hoboken Housing Authority and its Chairman and Commissioners.